Message at the ILO-DTI Negosyo Center Launch of Online Women Entrepreneurs (WE) Hour

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the ILO-DTI Negosyo Center Launch of Online Women Entrepreneurs (WE) Hour, 25 March 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 25 March 2022
  • Undersecretary Blesida Lantayona, Department of Trade and Industry
  • Director Emma Susano, Project Management Unit of the DTI Negosyo Centers
  • Negosyo Center Counsellors from the National Capital Region and Region 7
  • Women Entrepreneurs and colleagues.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon po!
Happy Women’s Month!

We are glad to celebrate together with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Negosyo Centers as we launch the Online Women Entrepreneur’s Hour.

Women entrepreneurs across the country have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With most of them operating in sectors that were badly hit and dealing with increased care work burdens.

They need help for their businesses to survive and thrive. The ILO, through the Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post-COVID-19 Project, aims to provide support for women entrepreneurs to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt more sustainable and resilient business models.

This Online Women’s Entrepreneur Hour webinar series is an initiative of the ILO and the DTI Negosyo Centers. It provides a safe space for women entrepreneurs to listen and learn more about financial and non-financial services that can help their businesses during these challenging times.

By having a safe space to learn and exchange ideas with other women entrepreneurs, we create a nurturing environment for women to rebuild their businesses side by side with other women.

This Online Hour is also an opportunity for Business Development Service (BDS) providers such as banks, financial institutions, government service providers to know more about our women entrepreneurs and share more about their products and services that can support their businesses.

Business Development Service Providers have a responsibility to step up and help solve pressing challenges around the world.

This Online WE Hour is a good example on how government and businesses can come together to provide women entrepreneurs with the opportunity to thrive in the changing global economy.

We thank our initial business speakers for this series - BDO Network Bank, Canva, Google Philippines, and WomenBizph for sharing and reaching out to our women entrepreneurs through the services they offer to help build and expand their businesses.

Entrepreneurship plays an important role in helping women gain access to livelihood opportunities and decent work and become active contributors to sustainable development.

We all need to invest in the potential of women entrepreneurs and help them expand beyond the micro and small levels of enterprises.

The Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines recognizes this need to increase the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in creating inclusive and sustainable employment.

It supports an enabling environment that promotes development and creation of sustainable and resilient enterprises.

Women entrepreneurs play an important role in building more resilient and sustainable enterprises. Strategic support for women entrepreneurs should thus be part of an inclusive and human-centered recovery from the crisis.

This is in line with the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient recovery from COVID-19 that is human-centred.

The programme we launch today will help make this happen. We count on your support that you will continue to provide safe spaces for women entrepreneurs to build and thrive in their businesses.

Together we can help women entrepreneurs amid all the challenges and build a better future of work that leaves no one behind.

Maraming salamat po!